“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? (Job 38:4a).” That’s the question God asks of Job, before asking him a hundred more of equal significance, none of which he can answer. In the end he can only say, “therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:2,5-6).” Job had spent many words affirming his innocence of any sin in the face of his friends’ accusations that his own evil actions had brought about his immense suffering, but they would not believe him, thus he turned to God to affirm his innocence and for an explanation as to his great misery, instead, God asks him a few impossible questions, showing Job his own insignificance and ignorance, that save for God’s grace and power, Job would quite literally be nothing!
God isn’t afraid of our tough questions, our complaints, our tears, our anger, the Psalms are full of them, but are we approaching Him as an equal or worse, as if He owes us something or has failed to do as we wish, as if He is an erring employee or child that just isn’t listening? To Job He reveals His power, His wisdom, His glory and splendor, and Job rightfully replies that he is dust and even that is not of his own doing. It isn’t the questions, but rather the attitude with which we bring them, that matter to God. Are we willing, like Job, to say, “though He slay me, still I will hope in Him (Job 13:15a).” Or will we be like Job’s friends, declaring their full knowledge of God and His ways and thus their own rightness in all they assert? In approaching God, we must remember that we are His creature, that He is the Source and Power behind everything, that He is not our servant or slave but rather we are called to serve Him. We are free to express our feelings, but I am also thankful that He doesn’t do things our way. As C.S. Lewis put in the Chronicles of Narnia about Aslan “he’s not a tame lion, but he is good.” We would do well to remember that about our God; we serve a good God, but He is not at our beck and call!